Warnings about the Jewish Law

Phil. 3:1-11     Paul warns the believers to be on their guard against those who claim that Gentile believers must be circumcised according to the Jewish law. Even though Paul himself was circumcised when a week old, he has not been put right with God by “anything we can do” (Philippians 3:3).

Although he was a Pharisee and has kept all the Jewish religious laws, he counts all these things as nothing when compared to his knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord. All he wants to know is “Christ and the power that raised him from the dead” (Philippians 3:10).

Phil. 3:12-14   So Paul keeps “trying to reach the goal” (Philippians 3:14) and receive the prize which is God’s call to life in Jesus Christ.

Phil. 3:15-21   Paul is in tears as he begs the believers to give up their selfish bodily desires which will lead them to destruction. Instead, he tells them they are citizens of an earthly colony of heaven, for “our homeland is in heaven, and we are waiting for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven” to rule on earth (Philippians 3:20). Then “he will change our simple bodies and make them like his own glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).

 

Sefer Torah at Glockengasse Synagogue, Cologne (Willy Horst)

Paul says he's been put right with God through his faith in Jesus,
not by following the rules in the Jewish Torah  (
Willy Horst)

 

Paul sends personal greetings

Phil. 4:1-9       Paul ends by sending personal greetings to two women believers, Euodia and Syntyche, to Clement (who later became leader of the church in Rome and wrote the Epistle of Clement to the church at Corinth) and to all his other fellow-workers.

He tells them to rejoice in their union in Jesus and reminds them that “The Lord is coming soon” (Philippians 4:5). He urges them not to worry, because “God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Phil. 4:10-20   He thanks the believers for their recent financial support and for all the love they have shown ever since they sent a gift to him some ten years earlier when he was at Thessalonica on his second missionary journey (see Acts 17:1-9 and Map 24).

Throughout this time, Paul has learnt to be content with whatever he has. He has known what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. “I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Phil. 4:21-23   Paul sends greetings from the believers in Rome, “particularly those from the palace of Caesar” (Philippians 4:22) (see Philippians 1:13). He finishes with a benediction. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all” (Philippians 4:23).

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